Lawmaker Dev criticizes weakening of National Assembly

KATHMANDU: Jeetendra Narayan Dev, a member of the National Assembly (NA) representing the Nepali Congress, voiced concerns over the constitutional and legal weakening of the upper House during the drafting of laws and the constitution.

In an interview with RSS, Dev expressed his theoretical, political, and practical conclusions drawn from his six-year tenure in the National Assembly. He emphasized that in democratic countries with a bicameral parliamentary system, both Houses hold equal power and functionality.

Reflecting on past debates, Dev recalled a serious discussion on how to empower, represent, and ensure the quality of the National Assembly. He noted a divide between those advocating for strengthening and empowering the NA and those seeking to weaken it by granting more powers to the House of Representatives.

Dev pointed out that although there is no legal provision specifying the timeframe within which bills originated in the NA should be sent back to the House of Representatives, the lack of such a provision serves to undermine the status of the upper house.

Highlighting specific instances, Dev cited the election of the president in the joint committee as a factor weakening the NA. He explained that despite efforts by the entire NA to amend the process and allocate the presidency of one committee to the NA, this proposal failed to materialize.

Furthermore, Dev underscored the disparity in representation within the Parliamentary Hearing Committee, where 12 members are from the House of Representatives and only three from the NA. He argued that establishing a practice where all parties are represented equally in this committee would enhance the dignity and weight of the NA.

In conclusion, Dev's remarks shed light on the challenges faced by the National Assembly and the need to address issues that contribute to its weakened constitutional and legal standing.

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